Shapes of Trees – an evening of music

posted on November 9, 2017

Tickets are still available for The Shapes of Trees event – an evening of music at the Sylva Wood Centre on 16th November. The event is part of our Winter Festival of Trees, Woods and People which is promoting the launch of the ‘Tree Charter’.

Event profits to Sylva Foundation. Read more and purchase tickets

Shapes of Trees - 16th November 2017

Shapes of Trees – 16th November 2017


an evening of music inspired by Trees, Woods and People




ROBIN BENNETT (The Dreaming Spires, Wood Festival)

with readings from FIONA STAFFORD

and photography by GABRIEL HEMERY

THURSDAY 16th November, 7.30-11pm

at the Sylva WOOD centre, Little Wittenham

Tickets £12.50 advance.

Licensed bar.

Event profits to the Sylva Foundation.

Read more and purchase tickets

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Your invitation to Artweeks 2017 at Sylva Wood Centre

posted on April 27, 2017


6 – 14 May

11am-6pm weekends
11am-4pm weekdays

closed Wednesday 10th

Long Wittenham, OX14 4QT


Stunning fine furniture
Environmental art
Bespoke items for your home and garden
Live demonstrations and workshops
Children’s area and activities
Food and drink (weekends only)
Enjoy the new Future Forest and Community Orchard
Meet the beekeepers
And more . . .


If you would like to print a poster to help us advertise the event please download it here. Thank you!


Category: Announcements, events, WOOD

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ArtWeeks at the Sylva Wood Centre

posted on May 1, 2016
Oxfordshire ArtWeeks

Sylva Wood Centre at Oxfordshire ArtWeeks 2016

It’s just two weeks to go until we open the doors of the Sylva Wood Centre for Oxfordshire ArtWeeks.

Following the inaugural opening of the Wood Centre last year, for 2016 we will be showcasing even more tree and wood-focussed arts and craft to fascinate and delight members of the public.

We are open every day from 14-22 May from 11am-5pm, except Weds 18th when we are closed to allow school visits. Entry is free.

Address (for SatNavs navigate 100m west of result):

Sylva Wood Centre, Little Wittenham Road, Long Wittenham
OX14 4QT

All businesses we host at the Wood Centre will be exhibiting — including outdoor furniture, fine furniture, upholstery, woodworking masterclasses and more — plus we have some great invited artists including photography and art. We will also have the Tree Charter Wandering Tree onsite, where you can pose for a photo. During weekends we will have tasty food and drink for sale. You can see the full list of artists and find out more in our ArtWeeks online gallery here.

We will also be launching two exciting schemes to allow everyone to support local tree planting by getting actively involved in a Community Cropshare Orchard, and a Future Forest.

Finally, we have a few tickets remaining to our inaugural WoodWords­­™ literary event on the evening of Saturday 14th. Book now to avoid disappointment.

We look forward to welcoming you.





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Invitation to the WoodWords™ literary evening 14th May

posted on April 29, 2016

Tickets are still available to this exciting event. Book now to avoid disappointment.

WoodWords 2016

WoodWords 2016

Trees, and the wood that comes from them, are part of all our lives. WoodWords™ 2016 brings together four authors who are passionate about trees, wood, and the process of turning it into beautiful and functional things. At this inaugural WoodWords™ literary evening they will tell the stories behind their latest books – splinters and all. We hope to meet you there.

This unique event takes place in the Sylva Wood Centre – an exciting new hive of creativity in wood that brings fine furniture and industrial use of wood together. Dress down, enjoy drinks amongst the sawdust and wood chips at The Wood Bar, admire the incredible creativity of our resident designer-makers and be inspired.

Saturday 14th May, 6:00 – 9:00pm
Sylva Wood Centre, OX14 4QT

Tickets are £15 each with all proceeds going to the charitable work of the Sylva Foundation.

Buy online now or telephone 01865 408018.

About the Authors and their books

The New Sylva

The New Sylva

Gabriel Hemery has a lifelong interest in sustainable forestry, and is co-founder and CEO of the Sylva Foundation. Gabriel’s book The New Sylva was published by Bloomsbury in 2014 to coincide with the 350th anniversary of John Evelyn’s 1664 Sylva. Intertwining science, art and history, and illustrated with 200 exquisite drawings by co-author Sarah Simblet, The New Sylva describes the tree species that play a significant role in today’s society, and offers a deep and enriching understanding of our orchards and forests.



The wood for the trees

The wood for the trees

Richard Fortey is a British palaeontologist, natural historian, writer and television presenter. He served as President of the Geological Society of London for its bicentennial year of 2007, and worked for most of his career at the Natural History Museum in London. The Wood For The Trees combines stunning natural history with the ancient history of the countryside. The book is a wonderfully evocative biography of a beech-and-bluebell wood through diverse moods and changing seasons, and tells the full story of the British landscape.




The man who made things out of trees

The man who made things out of trees

Rob Penn is patron of the Small Woods Association and Media Associate at the Sylva Foundation. An avid cyclist, Rob is also deeply passionate about wood and woodlands. He presented the BBC Four series ‘Tales from the Wild Wood’. As a journalist, he writes for The Guardian, Observer, FT and Sunday Times, as well as a host of cycling and woodland publications. His latest book The Man Who Made Things Out of Trees was published by Particular Books, in 2015. His previous book It’s All About the Bike: the Pursuit of Happiness on Two Wheels was a Sunday Times bestseller in the UK, and was translated into 13 languages.



Essential Woodworking Hand Tools

Essential woodworking hand tools

Paul Sellers is an internationally renowned woodworking teacher and a leading advocate for his craft, reaching many thousands of people by recording instructional videos of woodworking techniques. Although Paul has earned a living as a woodworker, he refers to himself as an ‘amateur woodworker’ because he still does it primarily for love of the craft. His new book Essential Woodworking Hand Tools was written to pass on not only his knowledge of tools but his enjoyment of them. It helps anyone to make good choices in purchasing, sharpening, and beginning to use the tools that you need to build things from wood.

Category: events, Fundraising
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Hooke Park Winter Lecture series

posted on November 3, 2015

The Winter lecture series at the Architectural Association’s Woodland Campus at Hooke Park, has been announced.

Sylva Foundation’s CEO Dr Gabriel Hemery is part of the line up of speakers this year. He will be talking about woodland culture and the making of The New Sylva on Wednesday 2nd December.

Read more about the Hooke Park Winter lectures

Category: events, The New Sylva
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Conference: Resilient Woodlands – meeting the challenges

posted on September 7, 2015
Resilient Woodlands conference: 1st October

Resilient Woodlands conference: 1st October

An important conference — Resilient Woodlands: meeting the challenges — is taking place at Birmingham on 1st October, and places are still available.

The conference is not only where people can hear the first results of the British Woodlands Survey 2015 but also listen to a top level line up of speakers raising the questions we need to consider about the impact of climate change on our woods and offering their perspectives on measures to support moves towards increased resilience. Organised jointly by the Royal Forestry Society and the Woodland Trust it promises to be a lively conference with plenty of time for discussion which anybody with an active interest in the long term health of our woods will benefit from attending.

Speakers include:

  • Mike Townsend, Woodland Trust
  • Dr Gabriel Hemery, Sylva Foundation
  • Duncan Stone, Scottish Natural Heritage
  • Graham Taylor, Pryor and Rickett
  • Professor Rob Mackenzie, BiFor
  • Dr Tom Tew, Vincent Wildlife Trust
  • Philippe Morgan, President, Pro Silva

A full programme and booking details can be found here.

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Workshop: bringing forest ecology into schools

posted on June 12, 2015

British Ecological Society - Forest Ecology GroupThe Sylva Foundation is working in partnership with the British Ecological Society to run a half-day CPD and consultation workshop to establish opportunities and constraints to teaching and learning forest ecology in secondary schools.

Teachers and Educators: are you interested in using local woodland near or on your school grounds to carry out ecological investigations, experiments and monitoring that fit with curriculum requirements? Would you like to learn more about forest ecology from Forest Scientists, Foresters and Woodland Owners? The proposed consultation workshop is an excellent opportunity to explore these ideas and benefit from CPD.

Woodland Owners: would you like your woodland to benefit young people through education activities? Are you interested to understand the needs of secondary school teachers when going on woodland visits?

Forest Scientists and Foresters: would you like to share your knowledge of forest ecology, fieldwork and current needs in research of trees and forests? Are you interested to know the content of secondary school curriculum and ways in which young people can inspired to follow careers into Forestry?


The workshop will use participatory methods and fieldwork to answer several key questions:

1.      What are the requirements for teaching about forest ecology in the new secondary school curriculum for Key Stages 3-5?

2.      How do teachers currently teach forest ecology? For example through case studies, theory, local trips, Field Studies Centres, or in the classroom? What are the barriers or bridges to teaching about forest ecology?

3.      What support do teachers and environmental educators need to teach forest ecology and what support do students need who carry out ecological investigations?

4.      Can myForest for Education and Sylva’s Forest Science projects support these needs? If so how?

Details and Booking form below

British Ecological Society workshop

Monday 6th July 2015, 1pm -5pm

At the Sylva Foundation offices, Manor House, Little Wittenham, OX14 4RA  directions

Workshop Co-ordinator: Jen Hurst , Education Manager,

Participants are asked to pay a booking fee of £10.00 to guarantee their place on this workshop. Funding from the British Ecological Society has enabled the Sylva Foundation to provide this CPD and consultation event at minimal cost. See booking form below.

Lunch: Lunch and drinks will be provided free of charge.

Participants: Twenty participants: Biology and Geography secondary teachers from Key Stages 3 to 5, Environmental Education professionals, Woodland Owners, Forest Ecologists and Foresters.

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Resilient woodlands: meeting the challenge

posted on June 11, 2015

An important conference will take place on October 1st concerning the challenges facing our woodlands from environmental change. Organised jointly by the Royal Forestry Society and the Woodland Trust,  we are pleased to have been invited to contribute. Sylva Foundation CEO Dr Gabriel Hemery will present early findings from the latest of our British Woodlands Surveys — to launch this summer on the theme of resilience (read more) — and discuss these in the context of practical action that woodland owners can take.

October 1st 2015

The RFS and The Woodland Trust present: 

Resilient Woodlands: meeting the challenges

resilience - are you meeting the challenges

Resilience – are you meeting the challenges? A poster produced by Sylva in 2014

Everybody’s talking about the challenges, but what should you be doing?

Join a top line up of speakers at the National Motorcyle Museum , Birmingham, to address these three key questions:

  • What are the key challenges for woods and woodland owners in the 21st century?
  • How can we make woods and wooded landscapes both ecologically and financially resilient?
  • What does this mean in terms of policy and practice?

The event brings together a unique line up of experts to discuss the questions which impact on all woodland owners and managers, and on everyone who loves or is involved in woodlands – what should we all be doing to ensure our woodlands are resilient to the threats from environmental change?

Full details of the conference, the speakers and how to book go to 

The conference counts towards CPD for a number of organisations, and  places are limited, so book early!

RFS President Sophie Churchill and The Woodland Trust CEO, Beccy Speight will be chairing the day.

Speakers are: Resilient Landscapes – Mike Townsend, Woodland Trust; Ecological Resilience in Woodlands –  Duncan Stone, Scottish Natural Heritage; Making Woodlands Pay – Graham Taylor, Pryor and Rickett Silviculture; Resilience: a research perspective – Professor Rob MacKenzie , BIFoR; Forest Resilience and Climate Change – Jonathan Spencer, Forestry Commission; Resilience in Living Landscapes – Stephen Trotter, the Wildlife Trusts; Natural Capital – Professor  Dieter Helm, Chairman of Natural Capital Committee (by video); Marketing your Woodland: innovations in wood product markets – Jez Ralph, Timber Strategies; Are pine martens the answer to grey squirrel control? – Dr Tom Tew, Chief Executive Environment Bank and Chairman of Vincent Wildlife Trust; A Practical Guide to taking Action on Resilience – Dr Gabriel Hemery, Sylva Foundation.

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Join us for talk and show at River and Rowing Museum

posted on March 11, 2015
OneOak project event at the Henley River and Rowing Museum

OneOak project event at the Henley River and Rowing Museum


On Saturday March 21st, at the River and Rowing Museum, join Sylva’s Jen Hurst and Master Craftsman Philip Koomen for a ‘forest to furniture’ talk and tour of the stunning wood craft exhibition.

Two years on the OneOak project continues to inspire people with its unique message of sustainable forest management, creativity and education. Find out how Sylva is building on the success of OneOak to launch a new national education project for teachers and educators.

For more information, and to book you place, click here

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Follow the Sylva trail at Westonbirt this Summer

posted on July 18, 2014
The public enjoying the Sylva trail at Westonbirt National Arboretum

The public enjoying the Sylva Trail at Westonbirt National Arboretum

The Sylva Trail – celebrating the 350th anniversary of John Evelyn’s Sylva and Britain’s wood culture – continues to draw visitors at the Forestry Commission’s National Arboretum at Westonbirt. Extracts from the book, together with illustrations by Sarah Simblet from The New Sylva, feature in twenty panels placed around the arboretum

The trail is open until the end of August, when Sylva Foundation staff are looking forward to taking part in Treefest at the arboretum: 29th-31st August 2014.

Over the Summer kids are encouraged to roam among trees and nature, with five weeks of free activities and crafts, plus admission is free for children from 23 July – 31 August 2014. With 600 acres to explore, a line-up of fantastic summer events, free activity sheets and quizzes and 10 natural play areas to enjoy, there is no better way to spend a Summer’s day.

From 29th to 31st July a special event – Drawn to nature – aims to encourage families to be inspired by trees to create their own masterpieces. There will be a range of activities to try including nature printing, water colour and wood block printing onto fabric. Perhaps someone will be inspired to become the artist for the next edition of Sylva in another generation’s time!

More information

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